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'A lasting memory': Life-saving defibrillator installed at town's railway station

PUBLISHED: 19:56 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 19:56 28 October 2019

Jayne Biggs, of Heart to Heart, with the Dell family at the unveiling at Lowestoft Railway Station. Picture: Mick Howes

Jayne Biggs, of Heart to Heart, with the Dell family at the unveiling at Lowestoft Railway Station. Picture: Mick Howes

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New life-saving equipment has been installed at a busy train station in memory of a man who spent his career working on the railways.

A black and white photo of Ronnie Dell. PIcture: Courtesy of the Dell familyA black and white photo of Ronnie Dell. PIcture: Courtesy of the Dell family

A defibrillator has been placed on Platform 2 at Lowestoft Railway Station as a "lasting memory" to Ronnie Dell, whose career on the trains spanned more than 40 years.

The plaque unveiled along with the defibrillator at Lowestoft Railway Station. Picture: Mick HowesThe plaque unveiled along with the defibrillator at Lowestoft Railway Station. Picture: Mick Howes

After his death, aged 78, donations received at Mr Dell's funeral enabled his family to purchase the equipment to be provided.

Ronnie Dell’s brother Wally Dell and wife Barbara, holding a black and white photo of Ronnie, with their daughters Sue Willgoss and Carolyn Gosling. PIcture: Mick HowesRonnie Dell’s brother Wally Dell and wife Barbara, holding a black and white photo of Ronnie, with their daughters Sue Willgoss and Carolyn Gosling. PIcture: Mick Howes

After working with the charity Heart 2 Heart Norfolk, and with the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership arranging and funding the installation, the defibrillator was installed on Platform 2 during a special ceremony at the town's railway station on Monday, October 28.

Family, friends and former colleagues of Ronnie Dell at the unveiling of the new defibrillator at Lowestoft Railway Station with station staff. Picture: Mick HowesFamily, friends and former colleagues of Ronnie Dell at the unveiling of the new defibrillator at Lowestoft Railway Station with station staff. Picture: Mick Howes

On leaving school in 1955 Mr Dell began his career as a messenger boy for British Rail in the Lowestoft Goods Office.

The Dell family with Martin Halliday, Community Rail Development Officer at Community Rail Norfolk and Jayne Biggs at the unveiling of the new defibrillator at Lowestoft Railway Station. Picture: Mick HowesThe Dell family with Martin Halliday, Community Rail Development Officer at Community Rail Norfolk and Jayne Biggs at the unveiling of the new defibrillator at Lowestoft Railway Station. Picture: Mick Howes

He moved to a role as a shunter in the goods yard later becoming a guard on passenger trains.

A familiar face, particularly on the Lowestoft to Norwich and Ipswich routes, Mr Dell retired in 1997, having spent his entire working life on the railway.

In May 2012 Mr Dell had a heart operation, an aortic valve replacement at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, before spending time recuperating at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston and Lowestoft Hospital.

Over the last five years of his life he received medical care from several departments at the James Paget and as all the cardio team were very good to Mr Dell, the family chose to support Heart 2 Heart Norfolk in his memory, as it is also supported by a member of the hospital cardio team.

Mr Dell's niece, Carolyn Gosling, said: "After talking to Jayne Biggs at Heart 2 Heart and assessing where defibrillators are already in place, we decided to ask for a defibrillator at Lowestoft Station due to Ronnie's link with the railway.

"Being the only place that he ever worked, it seemed very fitting to have the installation here.

"The family are very pleased that the defibrillator is now in place, which will always be a lasting memory to him."

Chairman of the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership, Roger Foulger, added: "To donate a defibrillator at the station in memory of Ronnie was a very thoughtful gesture, the Partnership were pleased to support the installation of this life-saving equipment."

The new equipment was officially unveiled before a training session for staff and volunteers at the station was provided by Ms Biggs.

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